Monday, February 27, 2006

Tension erupts at Fort Bonifacio

National (as of 7:01 PM)

Tension erupts at Fort Bonifacio

A Marine colonel who was implicated in the coup plot to oust President Arroyo heightened tension in Fort Bonifacio on Sunday afternoon after he refused to be taken into custody, DZMM reported.

Col. Ariel Querubin, 1st Marine Brigade commander, said he does not recognize the authority of newly-installed Marine commandant Brig. Gen. Nelson Allaga.

Querubin met Allaga at the doorstep of the Marine Barracks inside the military camp to talk to him about Maj. Gen. Renato Miranda's relief as Marine commandant.

"Wala naman siyang pinakitang order. Paano ko siya susundin? (He did not show me any order. Why should I recognize him?)," Querubin was heard saying over DZMM.

Later, elements of the 2nd Marine Battalion led by a certain Lt. Col. Archie Segumalian arrived in front of the building. An agitated Segumalian said they are there to show support for Miranda.

The Marine was heard as saying about their fight for clean and honest elections in Lanao and how some forces are destroying everything what they stood for.

Allaga summoned Segumalian to get inside the Marine headquarters for a meeting. The officer refused at first, saying that he needs to make it sure that his men are safe outside the building.

He eventually went in and talked to Allaga.

ANC correspondent Pinky Webb, meanwhile, reported that two armored personnel carriers were seen motoring toward the front parking lot of the Marine headquarters.

The soldiers manning the armored vehicles declined to grant interviews.

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